NASCAR Betting Guide for the Federated Auto Parts 400
Picking NASCAR race winners is nearly impossible because of how much has to go right on the track to end up in victory lane. The pit stops have to be perfect, the driver has to avoid pit road penalties and accidents, and crew chiefs need to make the right adjustments to be one of the best cars at the end of a race to give the driver the chance to win.
Coming into the second week of the playoffs, the remaining 15 drivers who have not clinched their way into the second round of the playoffs are vying for the victory on Saturday night. But who can we expect to have the best odds of doing so? And with the best payoff no less?
Below we will cover the best bets of the weekend, but numberFire always has you covered when it comes to NASCAR. Check out the track preview for additional information on the history at this track, and the driver preview will give you some names to watch in this weekend's race.
At the Top
Kevin Harvick (+600) - This might be one of the easier bet selections I have made this season. Harvick is the clear hottest driver coming into the race (a driver rating of 114.5 over his last five events). This driver rating of his is almost 10 points higher than that of Kyle Larson (105.9), who comes in with the second-best rating in that span. We have seen Harvick perform well here in recent years, with a third-best in the field 108.8 driver rating in all races at RIchmond since 2015 (eight events). We can also talk about how Harvick has performed the second-best this season among all drivers in the field on flat tracks. But the best metric going for Harvick has to be his practice speeds this week. Harvick's 30-lap average in final practice was 22.891 seconds. To put that into perspective, only 5 of the 16 drivers who ran 15 consecutive laps beat that number on their 15-lap average. This car seems vastly superior to the field this week, and it should show that on Saturday night.
Joey Logano (+720) - While I can't give as much of a glowing review here as I did with Harvick, there is a case to be made for Logano, as well. He is racing Richmond with the third-best driver rating in the field through the last five races (102.9). Logano has also performed well at Richmond over the last four years, with a driver rating of 106.6 here, fourth behind the big three of Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Martin Truex Jr. While there is not a bet that I like more than Harvick, Logano is a solid Plan B to make in case the number-four car has troubles.
Kyle Larson (+1500) - This is such a statistically conflicting bet to make. On one hand, Larson is struggling on flat tracks this season, which, based on his racing style, makes sense. Larson is a driver who naturally likes to take advantage of banking and run high lines when he can. But when that banking does not exist, he obviously cannot run it. Then I noticed two things. One, this is Larson's best career flat track, with a driver rating of 91.1 here. The other -- even weirder -- thing that jumped out was how well he ran in second practice. Larson boasted the best 15-lap average and the second best 10-lap average. That shows us Larson has the ability to run this car for longer runs, which will be important if this race is anything like last year's, when we saw just one caution not caused by the stages. This is a good spot to take a flyer on Larson at solid odds.
Clint Bowyer (+2500) - Thankfully I did not write the betting column last week, or else I would have gone nuts over Bowyer starting from the pole position (I did enough of that in DFS, thank you very much). But there is reason to go back to the well here and bet on him to win this race. I like him mainly due to the fact that the flat tracks have been his best track type this season, coming in with a 97.8 driver rating on such tracks in 2019. And if anyone is in need of a win, it's Bowyer. Not only for the continuation of his playoff run but also for his continuation on Stewart-Haas Racing. He's one of the better value bets on the board.
Ryan Blaney (+4000) - Blaney has been somewhat of a troll here the past few years. He tends to practice well and then fall off completely once the green flag drops. Well, guess what? Blaney yet again dazzled us in practice and leaves all of us bettors conflicted once again. Blaney will start this race with the seventh-best driver rating in the field (97.0) in the past five races here. The important thing to focus on, though, is his practice speeds. Blaney ran the fifth-best 10-lap average and the third-best 15-lap average. This is the best mix of a long shot and a value mixed together, and he is capable of edging out a win here.
Ryan Newman (+12500) - The payoff alone for a playoff driver winning here makes this a solid bet. Newman has actually performed better over his last five races than you might expect, coming in here with a rating of 75.4 over that time. Newman also ran a solid long run in the final practice, taking the number-6 car for the seventh-best 15-lap average in the field. For the most part, I am OK with making this bet because of how aggressive he can potentially be on the track, and that is always something I willing to bet on in the playoffs.